DigitalCameraReview.com
Kodak P880 Digital Camera Preview
by Howard Creech -  11/26/2005

UPDATE: The full review has been posted and can be found here.

Kodak is now number one in digicam sales and the folks in Rochester are poised to take on the big boys at Canon and Nikon with the introduction of the EasyShare P880.  The P880 is the flagship of Kodak's new "P" (for Performance) series.   "P" series digital cameras combine performance and creative capability with Kodak's signature operational simplicity and ease of use.  The P880 features 8 Megapixel resolution, an ultra-wide f/2.8-f4.1/24-140mm (35mm equivalent) SCHNEIDER-Kreuznach Variogon zoom (with manual zoom and focus rings), a large 2.5" LCD screen, RAW image file support, a 25 point hybrid AF system, a hot shoe for external flash units (like Kodak's new P20), ISO 50 sensitivity, a 1/4000th of a second top shutter speed, and a full range of exposure options (Auto, Program, 8 Scene Modes, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and full Manual modes).  


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The P880's controls are brilliantly laid out, with dedicated buttons for most commonly adjusted functions (flash, metering, ISO Sensitivity, White Balance, EVF/LCD, Drive, AF/AE Lock, Focus mode, Info Display, Delete and Exposure Compensation).  Menu navigation, via the small 4-way joystick is simple, direct, and logical (and rarely required). The excellent Schneider zoom produces consistently tack sharp images with a color palette that's reminiscent of Kodak Elite Chrome slide film -- bright, hue accurate, contrasty, and slightly over-saturated with virtually no visible noise (even at higher ISO settings).  


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The newest Easyshare digicam is obviously aimed at the prosumer marketing niche, but Kodak also touts the P880 as a capable and easy to use alternative to larger, heavier, and more expensive entry-level dSLR cameras -- a camera for those who want exceptional images, but don't want to learn advanced photographic skills.  Was Kodak really able to build a semi-pro digicam for the masses?  Check back here in a week or so for a comprehensive (and critical) assessment in the full P880 review.


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